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Lenten Disciplines

I've been giving some consideration to what Lenten Discipline I might take up for the season, or what I might 'give up' for Lent. 'Giving up' something is not a task I always take. My most 'successful' year was the year I gave up Diet Coke for Lent. Giving up soda provided, actually, some unexpected theological reflections. Other years I've tried (and failed) to go vegan for the season, or just skipped giving something up at all. I've been successful in 'taking up' something like a more disciplined devotional time, etc. I have vivid memories of my friend Marianne in high-school who gave up chocolate for Lent. One day in Sunday School, we had Girl Scout cookies - Tagalongs, the best of all Girl Scout cookies. She scraped off all the chocolate and ate the peanut butter inside. Dedication. Around the blogosphere/facebook this year, I've seen people giving up facebook (not gonna happen for me), eating out (intriguing - would be sadly tough for me to do,) blogging (I feel like it would be more of a discipline for me to blog more during Lent these days.) I'm just not quite sure what I want to do. I've also seen people try to combine some sort of weight loss program with Lenten Disciplines, and that just never seems quite right to me - like the order is wrong. Using Lent in order to lose weight, instead of doing something in order to deepen the Lenten experience.

Do you give something up, or take something up, for Lent? What? And why? What do you hope to get out of your discipline? What has deepened your Lenten experience in the past?


Kathryn said…
I too was unsure til Sunday, when I broke my arm...that pretty much wraps it up for me I think, but not something I would recommend :-(
Anonymous said…
Every year for about a decade I would try to give up TV. Then March Madness would roll around and I would sin boldly (18hrs at a time). This year--to save me from tears--wife and I are giving up eating out.
Kurt said…
I'm giving up meat and going vegetarian for Lent. I'm doing it for environmental, ethical and social justice reasons, so I think it will be a good reflection for the Lenten season.
Anonymous said…
Up until today I was thinking "I'm not giving anything up because it just seems too trendy this year..." but I did some listening and realized that I really need to listen more, and I've been filling my life with a lot of noise, so out goes the TV!

My church is also doing a "give up and given back" campaign for Lent - we're asking people who give up things like starbucks or eating out to save their money they didn't spend and bring it to church to support Africa University.
Anonymous said…
I like the idea of "adding to" instead of "giving up" as a discipline, so I am adding to my prayer life during Lent as a discipline.
Let's see how that works!

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